As stated, it's a lot of hype for what is just another rodeo. That said, you've also got something like a big state fair going on, and then there are the Rockies that are just 50 miles west and are a sight to see. Get ur reservations early and get a nighttime one because I bet it will be as hot next year as it was this year. We stayed in the foothills to the mountains, at Bow Provincial park and drove into the end of line for the train which took us down to the gates of the fair and rodeo park. free parking when we were there about 15 years ago.
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We went this year on our way back from Alaska. On a whim we checked and we had no issues getting tickets a week before to the chuck wagon races (aka: evening show). Those tickets also get you into the midway. There's the day time rodeo and various concerts. Some concerts are free once in the midway and others are a secondary ticket.
We stayed about 25miles south and didn't have any issues getting a campsite. To get to the event, we parked for free at the end of the light rail line in the commuter lot (truck only not the camper) and it drops you off right outside the event (easier and cheaper than trying to park at the site).
For a casual visitor, a day or two is plenty unless there is a concert you want to attend. Of course, the midway doesn't hold much appeal for us, so you may feel different.
A really nice add on if doing Banff & Jasper.
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